Japan's finance minister resigned over this video of him sleeping and slurring at a G-7 meeting in Rome. If he was drunk, he wouldn't be the first to buckle under economic stress.

The minister, for the record, denies being intoxicated. He blamed his behavior on fatigue and a cocktail of medications. Either way, the intense pressure of trying to rescue a national economy from a global financial meltdown got to Shoichi Nakagawa somehow.

Other casualties:

Slurring Japan Finance Minister Only Latest Panic Casualty

Prime minister, cabinet and government of Iceland

Amid economic collapse, near insolvency and bitter street protests, Iceland's prime minister Geir Haarde quit, ostensibly due to health reasons. This was followed by the resignation of the Commerce Minister, then the resignation of Haarde's entire cabinet. The country's coalition government then collapsed.

Slurring Japan Finance Minister Only Latest Panic Casualty

Suicides, various, attempted and completed

Multiple investors in Bernie Madoff's ponzi-scheme "hedge fund" killed themselves, including French money-management CEO Thierry de la Villehuchet, who stabbed himself to death with a box cutter, and retired British military officer William Foxton, who shot himself in the head.

Then there's German billionaire Adolf Merckle, who jumped in front of a train after losing $1 billion by shorting Volkswagen.

Indiana wealth management advisor Marcus Schrenker (pictured) slit his wrists after apparently trying to fake his own death in a plane crash. He survived.

Slurring Japan Finance Minister Only Latest Panic CasualtyBen Bernanke

No one doubts that the Fed chairman is under intense strain. ""I just can't imagine the kind of pressure he's under," the principal of his hometown high school, who knew Bernanke as a boy, recently told the Wall Street Journal. "He's got the burden of the entire world on his shoulders." He's held up well enough, but sometimes the stress shows through.


[video via Wonkette]